Uber partnering Nasa to develop 'flying taxis'

LISBONUber is taking part in a joint industry and government push with the US space agency Nasa to develop software which the company aims to use to manage "flying taxi" routes that could work like ride-hailing services it has popularised on the ground.

Uber said on Wednesday it was the first formal services contract by the US National Aeronautical and Space Administration (Nasa) covering low-altitude airspace rather than outer space.

Chief product officer Jeff Holden also said Uber would begin testing proposed four-passenger, 322kmh flying taxi services across Los Angeles in 2020.

He described Uber's latest air taxi plans - paid, intra-city flying taxi services from 2023 - at an Internet conference in Lisbon.

Nasa said it had signed an agreement in January with Uber that would allow it to join industry partners to develop driverless air traffic management systems.